Sheffield Hallam events management students, working with Biketrial Federation UK and Tarty Bikes, organised a city-centre charity trials event in Sheffield on Sunday 30th March as part of their final-year degree project. 22-year-old Laura Cocking, whose boyfriend is a cycle trials rider, decided that she wanted to organise a trials event after attending Tarty Days in Essex in 2013 and approached Biketrial Federation UK, the organisers of the British Trials Cup, and Tarty Bikes for support and advice.
Laura and her team of fellow students, Holly Benson, Emily Challender and Dan Armstrong, were offered a prime location right in the centre of Sheffield, between the Crucible theatre and the Winter Gardens, offering plenty of public exposure and a stunning backdrop for the event.
The 60 tickets sold out weeks in advance, with some of the UK’s top riders and people from as far away as Inverness and Cornwall on the rider list.
On the day, the square was bustling with riders, volunteers and spectators, lending a real party atmosphere to proceedings. Audiences were wowed by displays of skill, power and precision from the riders and the pros, including current Junior World Champion Jack Carthy, were rubbing shoulders with the youngsters and beginners, offering advice and encouragement throughout the day while pushing each other on some of the bigger and more technical obstacles that had been laid on by the organisers. There was even a give-it-a-go area, organised by Tarty Bikes, where the public could try their hand at the techniques being displayed.
Riders also had the chance to compete against one another in the gap jump, high jump and speed trial competitions, which saw some of the biggest crowds gathering around the barriers on Tudor Square. As you might expect, World Champ Jack Carthy picked up the win in the Elite gap jump and high jump contests, just edging out team mate Danny Butler and fellow UK trials stars Sam Oliver, Matt Arkwright, Joe Oakley and Rob Poyser. Danny Butler then took the win in the speed trial contest that closed the event, powering round the course in just over 7 seconds. In the under 16 rounds, Josh Pollard saw off the competition in the gap jump competition, while Jack Iveson won the high jump and Adam Morewood clocked the fastest time in the speed trial.
Ben Swales, from the Biketrial Federation UK, said: “I’m really pleased to have worked with Laura, Holly, Emily and Dan on the event on behalf of Biketrial Federation UK. Laura in particular has been working extremely hard and we’ve been impressed with her competence, drive and enthusiasm. With help from us and Tarty Bikes, they’ve managed to put on a brilliant event that has brought biketrials to a big audience and we’ve all had a great day! Even though this was a one-off event for their degree, we’ve had people asking us all day when the next one is and feedback from riders and the public has been fantastic.
All in all, it was a fantastic, well-organised event with a great atmosphere that was a lot of fun for everyone involved. With some awesome riding on display and everyone involved, including spectators and passers-by, having a brilliant time, it was a great showcase for the sport. Not only that, but Laura and her team raised over £750 for the Cathedral Archer Project charity, which helps Sheffield’s homeless.
To find out about other biketrials events and organisations in your area, visit the Biketrial Federation UK’s website at www.biketrialuk.co.uk or look them up on Facebook.
Word and photos by Ben Swales